On August 7, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the University of North Carolina in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The DOJ alleged that the defendant discriminated against two female ...
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On August 7, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the University of North Carolina in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The DOJ alleged that the defendant discriminated against two female employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment. The DOJ sought injunctive relief to enjoin the defendant from failing or refusing to take appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to combat the effects of discrimination, including an effective program to address and prevent sexual harassment; and monetary relief for the two female employees. The DOJ alleged this sexual harassment created a hostile work environment for the female employees.
On August 17, 2007, the two female employees of UNC and its component institution, North Caroline Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) filed a motion to intervene. On October 1, 2007, the Court (Judge Wallace Dixon) granted the motion to intervene as plaintiff-intervenors, and both plaintiffs filed intervenor complaints. The first intervenor plaintiff alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor, including conditioning her employment on agreeing to his advances and lewd, offensive remarks; and that her employer knew of the harassment, did not take any action and even promoted the supervisor. The second intervenor plaintiff alleged similar facts of sexual harassment, but she also alleged that she was retaliatory discharged after making complaints about the supervisor's conduct. She sought damages for discrimination and retaliation.
On December 27, 2007, the intervenor plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate the present case with Gloria Adams Smoot v. The University of North Carolina, Case No. 1:07-CV-00812. The plaintiff in that case also alleged sexual harassment on the hands of the same supervisor with knowledge of the employer, and discharge in retaliation. The motion was granted on January 9, 2008 and the cases were consolidated for pre-trial procedures and discovery.
On February 5, 2008, the case was referred to mediation. However, the case settled prior to mediation. On April 28, 2008, the Court (Judge Thomas D. Schroeder) entered a consent decree. The decree applied to both UNC and A&T, and only resolved the dispute with respect to two intervenor plaintiffs.The decree contained two general injunctions: 1) prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex; 2) prohibition of retaliation. The defendant agreed to modify its anti-discrimination policies and procedures with respect to sexual harassment and hostile work environment in the following ways: 1) clarification of complaints procedures as to what is available, including posting links on their website; 2) ensuring confidentiality of complainants; 3) posting of information in public places; 4) mandatory training on equal employment law, subject to approval by the United States. The defendant agreed to keep records to allow monitoring by the United States. Two intervenor plaintiffs received awards of $29,000 and $26,000 (total of $55,000). The defendant agreed to provide them with neutral references in the future. The Court retained jurisdiction over the decree. The decree was to dissolve after two years from its entry. On May 23, 2008, two intervenor plaintiffs filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. Zhandos Kuderin - 07/18/2014